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September 27, 2023

Hollywood Is Saved?

Ending the strike may be good news for Hollywood, but it’s probably bad news for the rest of us.

Every American knows that Hollywood has its problems, to put it mildly. Heck, we’ve spent a great deal of time over the last 27 years analyzing those issues. But like rubbernecking to view a traffic accident, most of us can’t help but look.

Many Americans certainly notice when their usual entertainment is not available, or when there are reruns or alternate programming. Such was the case after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike in early May. Early this morning, the union and Hollywood studios agreed to a three-year “minimum basic agreement,” which now goes to the guild for a vote before the strike officially ends.

What changed? The usual stuff unions fight for, from better base pay and bigger increases to more ancillary benefits like bonuses, healthcare, and pensions. The New York Times summarized it, “Agreement Gives Writers Guild Most of What It Wanted.” The WGA crowed, “This deal is exceptional.”

Great, we’ll all pay for that as prices rise even higher for movie tickets and streaming services.

Most significantly, however, the agreement includes rules about using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate content at the expense of writers’ jobs. AI content “can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights,” the agreement says. Though writers can use AI, they cannot be forced to do so, and they must be informed if any source material is AI-generated.

Any and all content creators have become increasingly concerned about losing jobs to AI in recent months, as the technology has made leaps and bounds in a remarkably short time. We’re concerned about the content and how it could be politicized; Hollywood writers worry about their jobs. Frankly, given the poor work Hollywood writers tend to do, they’re not wrong to fret.

For a more in-depth conversation about how AI impacts Hollywood, our Pop Culture Contrarian podcast team recently delved into the topic. Don’t miss a single episode!

As for the Screen Actors Guild, which joined the WGA on strike over the summer, no agreement has been reached.

As we implied at the outset, we have a hard time sympathizing with either party in these negotiations. Hollywood is responsible for a great deal of cultural rot over the last half-century, and no new deal setting pay or even rules for AI is going to change that. From set designers to writers to actors to C-suite executives, Hollywood is overrun by woke leftists who not only don’t follow but actually despise traditional American values, never mind Judeo-Christian ones.

Movies and shows are chock-full of bad language and bad behavior, setting bad examples for all of us, not just children. Objectifying women is the real art of Hollywood, which makes it darkly humorous when they’re somehow stunned to discover that Hollywood is full of men sexually harassing and assaulting women.

The hypocrisy on violence is remarkable as well. Hollywood churns out endless content glorifying violence, often with guns, and then actors run around weeping about certain high-profile real-life violence that can be manipulated to advance the leftist goal of gun control.

There’s an old saying that usually comes to mind with Hollywood: Garbage in, garbage out.

If the writers and actors guilds and the studios that pay them could learn a real lesson here, we’d prefer that it involved reforming the kind of content they put out, not just agreeing on how much money they can divide among themselves. And if conservatives can learn a lesson here, it would be for policymakers to quit subsidizing their own political adversaries and purveyors of cultural rot.

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